Brotthogg Speak To Metal Saves - Talking Inspiration, Writing And Their New Album
We've been on a bit of a mission to touch base with bands whose work we have we have recently reviewed in an effort to get a deeper insight into their material and learn a thing or two about the artists themselves, this week we've spoken with members of Brotthogg whose second album The Die Is Cast we recently reviewed.
The band tell us how they have handled lockdown, their inspiration and processes for creating their music and much more. So grab a snack, grab a drink and get to know one of Norway's most exciting new bands.
MS - Let’s get the obvious question out of the way first, how has the global pandemic impacted your ability to create and promote your music?
Well, actually the lockdown was kind of convenient since we were in the final stage of writing and recording a new album. It really freed up some time to concentrate and focus on finishing the songs, the writing of the lyrics and all the recordings needed to get the new album done in a much shorter time than we had planned. My schedule is typically more full with work duties, family duties and playing gigs, but when everything was cancelled it was good to have a goal to work towards. Regarding the promotion, I guess it`s not so different from the regular situation since most of the promotion is done online. People still have the internet.
MS - Your second album The Die Is Cast is due out on August 1st, what can people expect from it when it drops?
The new album is kind of a mixture of everything we consider to be the best attributes of extreme metal. Some of the tracks are very fast and brutal, while other parts are more heavy, gloomy and slow. It not so important whether you call it black metal, death metal or blackened thrash metal, but I feel we have created an ambitious and intriguing release where we explore the duality between the melodic and the aggressive, the heroic and the chaotic and the moderate and the technical.
I feel we have created an ambitious and intriguing release where we explore the duality between the melodic and the aggressive
MS - How would you compare this new record to Echoes of the Past?
I think this album is a natural continuation from Echoes of the Past, and I feel we have improved all the aspects of the music. The genre and the expression is much of the same, but with the new album, we have taken the music to the next level. Also because I think this album has a better and more organic production.
We didn’t really know much about this music in our part of Norway except what we learned from the news about some killings and church burnings, which only made it more interesting.
MS - What were some of the inspirations behind the songwriting for this album?
Hard to say really. I never have specific bands in mind when I write music, but I guess music and bands I find interesting unconsciously inspire the songwriting. Also, I can get quite inspired by movie scores. But mainly I think the inspiration is making music for its own sake. Usually, I just pick up the guitar and try to make a cool riff. When I have a riff or a passage I'm satisfied with, the rest of the song is derived out of this first riff. A riff has usually a certain mood or a feeling, so the rest of the song comes quite naturally out of this mood or feeling.
MS - How was the recording process for The Die Is Cast? Were you able to bring anything that you learned from the recording of your first album?
Yes, absolutely. We are very much in control of the recording process ourselves. I have been interested in music production for a couple of decades, but I still learn new things, new skills and a sense of what works or not from every album I’m participating. Not only regarding recording, but also when it comes to mixing and mastering. The process gets smoother for every album.
MS - Can you explain a little about your interesting band name?
The name Brotthogg is derived from an old Norwegian word in dialect meaning ”The one who has to take care of the job, the unpleasant one”. The word isn’t a part of the everyday vocabulary anymore so we kind of get it for ourselves. It comes quite handy to have a unique name. If we do a search on the internet/google we know the results are mainly about the band.
That was the plan all along. We’ve always liked to include elements from other kinds of metal, like thrash, heavy and death metal in the music.
MS - Being natives to the home of black and extreme metal, what bands influenced you over the years and when did you discover metal as a whole?
I think I was 7 or 8 years old when I discovered metal for the first time in the late 80`s. In the years to come, I was almost obsessive-compulsive of bands like Iron Maiden, Helloween, Megadeth and Manowar. For some reason, I had a childlike joy of everything that was fast, brutal and heavy, so when I came across black metal in 94-95 I was hooked from the beginning.
We didn’t really know much about this music in our part of Norway except what we learned from the news about some killings and church burnings, which only made it more interesting. We started our first black metal band back in 1996. In the beginning, we were highly inspired by the early Norwegian black metal scene, and bands like Mayhem Darkthrone, Burzum, Emperor and Enslaved were strong influences. The rawness and grimness of those bands gave much inspiration. Today I make a point of venturing beyond the frames and structures of traditional black metal, but it is naturally still the canvas for my compositions. I will also always consider the heavy metal bands we grew up with, like Manowar, Megadeth, Helloween and Iron Maiden, as important sources of influence.
MS - Was it always the plan to blend elements of blackened thrash and death metal into your sound?
Yes, that was the plan all along. We’ve always liked to include elements from other kinds of metal, like thrash, heavy and death metal in the music. The music is progressively structured with lots of details, drawing inspiration from bands like the latter Emperor and Dissection, but also from death metal bands. Hopefully without losing too much of the melancholic cold atmospheres of black metal. I guess you could say we try to combine the best of both worlds
MS - Do you have any plans to promote the new album live once live shows return?
Well, considering this being mainly a studio project we have no plans at the moment doing any tours or gigs, but who knows what happens in the future.
MS - What can we expect from Brotthogg in the future?
We will continue to write and improve our music and record new releases as long it feels like a cool thing to do. I’m already composing some new songs, so hopefully, it will be another album in a year or two.
MS - Finally, where can people find out more about you?
A huge thank you to Brotthogg for taking the time to speak us.